Valtteri Bottas Reveals Worrying Issue for Mercedes


Mercedes AMG F1 had a less-than average time during the first week of pre-season testing. The Brackley team struggled with a W10 with poor handling, according to the account of Valtteri Bottas.

The German team racked up the miles in the lap count charts in Barcelona. However, in comparison with arch-rival Ferrari, their performance level left something to be desired.

Both Bottas and Lewis Hamilton kept a low profile all week. This was because the Silver Arrows elected to focus on building the baseline of the W10 and iron out handling inconsistencies.

“We have work to do, but it’s a good feeling in the sense that it feels like there is potential,” the Finn explained. “We do need to make improvements.”

“We were struggling a bit over the week to find a good balance for all the corners.”

“There were some corners that were good, some cor we would have balance issues and other corners we would have massive balance issues.”

They managed to make good progress as the week drew on, but Bottas believes that updates will be necessary to cure the W10’s specific problems.

Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas

He admitted, “We were getting to a much better state at the end of the week, but some of the handling issues can only be sorted with some upgrades. We’re hoping to fix those hopefully soon.”

There were suggestions that the German outfit were sandbagging at the Circuit de Catalunya. However, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insisted that that wasn’t the case. He insinuated that Ferrari was the one playing its cards close to its chest.

“I think in Barcelona [week] 1 what we have seen is that Ferrari is ahead of the pack,” said Wolff. “The car looks fast and is fast on lap times.”

“I think that yesterday [Wednesday] they could probably have gone 1.5 seconds faster if they wanted to, and that is the fastest car we have seen in testing so far.”

“Then it is pretty much everybody bunched up, which is pretty exciting between all the other teams.”

“Now it is about seeing what happens in Barcelona [week] 2,” he added. “I have a feeling everybody will bring stuff to the car and then again in Melbourne. So probably only then will you be able to judge the competitive balance and not before.”

Valtteri Bottas